Half of console owners buy DLC - Report

EEDAR survey finds 51 percent have picked up add-ons in the last year; firm estimates North American DLC market to top $1 billion in 2012.

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Just as the number of high-profile games adopting downloadable content schemes is increasing, so too is the percentage of gamers willing to take the jump into the digital age for extra content. According to a new report from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, the number of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners who have purchased add-ons in the last 12 months has exceeded the number who haven't.

There's no tastier way to digest data than in a pie chart.

In the firm's 2011 "Deconstructing DLC" survey, EEDAR found that 51 percent of respondents bought DLC for their games in the prior year, up from 40 percent in 2010 and 34 percent in 2009. According to EEDAR, the 51 percent figure amounts to more than 20 million North American gamers who have purchased add-ons.

EEDAR pegged this year's North American downloadable content haul at $875 million and said the segment should grow even larger thanks to greater broadband speeds and marketing. The company expects the North American market to top $1 billion in DLC purchases in 2012, with worldwide revenues approaching $2 billion.

As for the 49 percent of consumers who hadn't purchased DLC in the last 12 months, EEDAR reports they gave a variety of reasons for staying out of the market. Privacy concerns were the most common issue, cited by 47 percent of those who hadn't bought DLC in the preceding year. Other common complaints were the inability to return DLC (38 percent), the high cost of add-ons (32 percent), and the inability to demo DLC before committing to a purchase (24 percent). Roughly 24 percent also said they had enough free DLC to enjoy and didn't feel the need to invest in additional content.

Discussion

198 comments
HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@AgentRebecca Than will you mind explaning wtf happen with Resident Evil 5's Versus mode and Street Fighter's Dlc??? also a bunch others that where already on the disc! and they made people pay for it twice because the disc cost $60 and they are making people pay for DLC that is in there already on that very disc you got for $60.

shnapoodle
shnapoodle

50% isn't that exciting.... It's an awkward middle ground...

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Ovirew I guess it's better with official add-on garbage for the game then :P. You don't have to install the mods you don't like if don't want to and there are a lot of worthless mods I admit, but just like with everything else, you can find the good stuff if you look a bit. I'd rather have DLC *and* mods, than just the option of DLC. Variety FTW!

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

The only DLC I pick up is the ones that are free in the packaging :P

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@rottenwood, Once again, I never explicitly said what games I bought, borrowed, or didn't. I posed a rhetorical question to illustrate that a list of ratings isn't a list of sales or non-sales, that there are many possibilities beyond the one you're salivating over. And now you're going to use anti-privacy slogans? Why? To score a point in what you seem to regard as an arguing game? "If you want privacy it means you have something to hide," or , "If you don't let me search your house it means you've got dead bodies in there," or "If you don't denounce Communism at once, then you must be a Communist." No, thank you, again. Giving you any personal information at all just plays into your game. Go ahead and conclude the worst. Crank up the finger-wagging, paternal tone, shout "gotcha!" and declare my arguments invalid by default, due to perceived hypocrisy. If in doubt, derail the whole argument with character attacks, right? It's like a free pass to gloss over everything I've said before.

AgentRebecca
AgentRebecca

@newhighscore Your are just thinking about yourself, since your talking about it being unfair, then it would be unfair to let PS3 have ALOT more stuff than X360.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@steveguttenberg I'm not 'throwing out accusations.' I said that you borrow games from your friends and don't buy DLC (or, apparently, much of anything); ergo, your lack of financial contribution to the hobby undermines your point. Do you not remember your own posts? "Rating a game isn't the same as buying it, is it? Can I rate a game if I just borrow it from a friend?" - Posted Oct 20, 2011 11:32 am PT "In this case, my complaint shows people, who already agree with me, that I'm right there with them in not buying these games." - Posted Oct 20, 2011 10:47 am PT Those are your own words, not mine. Heck, they're still here on the main page; it didn't take a lot of research to uncover them. You're no villain - simply one of the many Internet critics who claim to protest DLC games, but play them anyhow. (I notice you DID make your profile private after I found all of those evil DLC-packed games you played - most assuredly a coincedence!) Like so many others, your only real problem with games is your unwillingness to pay for them. Don't worry, though, I'm sure your buddy will keep buying games for you to leech off of him so you can continue to enjoy the software you're protesting against.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@rottenwood I don't make the strawman arguments you're assigning me. You throw out a bunch of accusations in hopes that I'll tell you all about myself to prove I'm not the villain you so flop sweatingly want me to be. No, thanks. It's not fair that you can make up whatever fiction you want about me to suit your argument, and I'm limiting myself to only addressing the things you actually wrote.

daabulls23
daabulls23

I bought DLC once. It was for Costume Quest, and it was only $5, plus I got the game on sale anyway. Great game, so I decided to give the developer some more money. :P

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

Yep, I'm guilty (and usually proud) of buying DLC

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

I've noticed that bethesda's addons for it's Elder scrolls and fallout games are very popular downloads. They seem to allways be 4th or 5th in the top downloaded lists. Keep it up Bethesda, all of your addons are worth every penny.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@Kratos_Kills Not all DLC is bad. Yeah, you could avoid the game all together like you said, but I rather weigh my options. If it is a game that I really don't play multiplayer online, well then I won't download the extra multiplayer maps, or if it was a game that I really enjoyed, and they have DLC that adds to the story, then maybe I'll purchase that. But I do agree that DLC is getting out of hand, and they're pricing it a little too aggressively.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@steveguttenberg So you borrow games from your friends, and don't purchase DLC. You're a very valuable customer and you can bet that publishers will take your complaints very seriously. @Rammone-X Heh, thanks. I do my best.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

@Too-DementeD I can understand that, I feel that way about clothes for avatars and wallpapers.

Zloth2
Zloth2

Waaaait a minute, didn't we just hear about a year ago that only a small number (maybe 15%?) buy any DLC?

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@rottenwood I really haven't "admitted" anything. That I rated a game proves that I rated a game, not that I bought it or didn't buy it, or that I bought downloads for it. And having bought a game isn't approval of its downloadable bits, especially if those downloads came out or were even announced after its release. But I do appreciate your effort to expose me as a hypocrite, guy who thinks moving on in regards to an issue is talking about it constantly. It's a very strenuous, if not very good, try.

Rammone-X
Rammone-X

I for one do buy DLCs, but I'm very very Knit-picky about them and only buy in certain occasions i.e. Dragon Age was an impressive game that kept me playing for days and is still keeping me playing, so when the DLCs cameo out, because of my appreciation and love of the product, I bought almost all DLCs. I completely agree with both @Rottenwood and @steveguttenberg "in some aspects" and in that regard, I'm slightly biased and torn between the 2 viewpoints. I will say this though, it was entertaining reading your comments and posts. :D

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@steveguttenberg "Rating a game isn't the same as buying it, is it? Can I rate a game if I just borrow it from a friend?" Sure. But that's a tacit admission that you enjoy games without paying for them. With that in mind, you have no reason to expect companies to care about your opinions at all. A net gain of $0 isn't much motivation for a game developer. Like I said, the entire argument is without merit, especially when the retaliation usually takes the form of people playing the games anyhow, and simply using shortcuts to pay less for them (or not at all). So, obviously, the games aren't unfinished, broken pieces of junk at all... they're perfectly fine, and this is just the latest in the endless parade of self-justification people use to not pay to play. And you should set your profile to 'private' so a single mouse click can't expose your hypocrisy.

metalkitten
metalkitten

mostly i pick up free addons... i think i only bought one addon ever - pigseys ten for enslaved - and that one was so worth it - quality all the way through and a truly great addon with a great lead:D i have however got free codes for heavy rain and la noire extra stuff and those stuff i would never have paid for....(sure it was totally ok playing throught he heavy rain one but its not something id pay for - la noire...err nooooo) but i have bought some downloadable games like flower and might and magic clash of heroes and the lara craft one - cause u cant get them any other way and they were all awesome

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

I'm one of the ones that doesn't buy DLC. Its a scam. Thank you Nintendo for not stooping to those levels.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@rottenwood That you say you feel more loyalty to Miyamoto than a randomly generated customer is telling of the imbalance I was talking about. Customers and publishers should be in a platonic business relationship, as you earlier suggested, but they're not. Some customers love publishers because of the games or mascots associated with them. Shigeru Miyamoto is a huggable father figure who makes unique games just for us, because he loves us, some of us think. How many fuzzy mascots do customers have? Ubisoft has those lovable Rabbids, but we don't have any Consumer Advocacy Bunnies. Have you seen a lot of pro-consumer ads on this site? On any site? Anywhere at all? Name one publisher who is arguing that his company is treating customers unfairly. Now think of how many publishers released statements saying they're hurt by used game sales. Also count the customers who say that all company practices are valid business strategy, nothing personal, but that some customer practices are invalid (complaining, buying used games).

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@rottenwood, No, in fact 89% of all charts show that "an endless stream of whining" leads most felines on this site to get exactly what they want. But we both know that neither of us consulted any charts here. Rating a game isn't the same as buying it, is it? Can I rate a game if I just borrow it from a friend? Good point, though. Maybe a rating is a tacit vote for paid, nontransferable downloadable content. Maybe I should remove those ratings. At the same time I want people to know that I like many of the games I avoid buying. It'd be impossible for me to boycott a product I otherwise wouldn't enjoy.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@steveguttenberg Well, as the sales charts show, people do a lot of complaining but don't back up the talk. That's my real issue here. Every DLC story leads to an endless stream of whining, yet you can bet that 95% of those cats will be lining up to buy the DLC-laden AAA releases. People can't expect to be taken seriously when they're complaining about 'crappy half-finished games with cut-out DLC' on the one hand, and then buying those games anyhow on the other. You, for example, have Fallout 3, Uncharted 2, and Red Dead in your recently-rated list - all of which have extensive DLC. I thought you were 'right there with them in not buying those games?' This is why DLC ain't going anywhere.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@Rottenwood I agree that we should withhold money to communicate our dislike of certain practices. But it does not follow that complaining is therefore invalid. Complaining is a valid and effective customer strategy. In this case, my complaint shows people, who already agree with me, that I'm right there with them in not buying these games. The more unhappy people voicing their concerns here and other places, the less likely they are to feel insignificant. I want them to know we're a bigger group than we sometimes realize, that we have voting power together.

strayfies
strayfies

And more recently, some of us are forced to buy DLC on a console, if we wanted the content that had been advertised to us months in advance. Free or not, this is an obnoxious incentive program.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@steveguttenberg An interesting analogy, but I don't agree with it. I have a lot more loyalty to, say, Miyamoto, than I do to some random gamer on the Internet. Miyamoto has crafted a dozen masterpieces that I'll never forget... what have you done for me, exactly? Or what have I done for you? Let's face it: we have ALL of the power in this relationship. Without our time and money, these guys are history. If people don't like the DLC model, they should stop buying games that feature it, no matter how badly they want them. People can complain all they like, but there's only one language that translates, and it's green. @spoonybard-hahs I get the point fine. It's like I said: publishers don't owe you squat. If they want to lock down 98% of the content of Uncharted 3 and give you nothing but Drake sitting on the john unless you buy the rest of it, that's their choice, and it's your choice to tell them to stuff it. The fact that it's 'on the disc' is semantics. Almost every game has content on the disc you never see that gets dummied out. Upgraydd gonna get his money. And as someone who has seen 79 Turbo/Special/Super Editions of Street Fighter in his long life, I'm way past being surprised or offended by it.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ Rottenwood That sound you hear is the point flying over your head. It's not a matter of price; it's a matter of all of this content is built along with the main game and then parsed out over time to effectively increase a game's starting price point. I love the thought of DLC, especially as a person who almost games exclusively on consoles. The thought that a game I purchase - especially one I've beaten - can be expanded is exciting for me. What ISN'T exciting is the thought of digital content that was created as part of the game and then removed for the sake of charging a premium. DLC as an idea should be a creation born of, "Hey, we could have done this," not, "Oh hey, this character should totally be DLC." Especially when that character is already - or even partially - on the disc. Or, what's even worse, when this original content is slapped on a shiny new disc. Let's look at some examples: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is essentially $100 for those who bought MvC3 and will buy UMvC3. Most of the content contained/planned in MvC3 (or announced before its release) will be in UMvC3. At least one of the DLC cases for L.A. Noire was already on the disc. Anything having to do with Street Fighter VI. Undead Nightmare was basically announced in an interview before Red Dead Redemption's release. The multiplayer for Resident Evil 5 was on the disc. Three of the DLC characters for Mortal Kombat, while not actually on the disc, where in the game before they were announced.

juiceair
juiceair

This is why you wait for the GOTY editions, it sucks but it will save you a lot of money. Uncharted 2 GOTY is a good example.

krelmmaster
krelmmaster

Some DLC is worth buying, other DLC is just a scam. Take Gearbox Software, Valve and Rockstar as an example, 3 developers who release DLC that's actually worth paying for. Valve even released their DLC for free even though there was enough content there to warrant a price tag. It's the map pack DLC that really sickens me though. This is the kind of content gamers used to get for free through patches or optional downloads. Developers used to release new maps to support their game and players - now their using it as a reason to exploit money from their players. Yes i am looking at you Activision. Even BioWare have, sadly, fallen into this sickening act, releasing some truly shocking DLC and asking people to pay for it. I don't mind DLC overall but too many developers are using it purely to milk money from their players.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

@Rottenwood You say that you don't buy DLC and then congratulate yourself for "mov[ing] on with [your] life" instead of complaining. Yet here you are complaining about people who complain, which is maybe the best example of not moving on I can think of. I agree that publishers are just doing business and it's nothing personal. It's like a game of, say, Halo. The publishers are the red team and the customers are the blue team. Each team does what it can to win. But the game is not balanced for a number of reasons. The red team is paid to beat us, and they've got more efficient weapons. Making things worse, some members of the blue team, like you, are shooting their teammates in the back. We should all be holding the X button.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

This DLC thing is getting out of hand. I swear devs are going to kill th e market. We are already paying $75-$100 for games if you take in the cost of the DLC's ( I believe COD: BO is up to $125) Thats outrageous and the problem is you can't send a message to them unless you give up something you love.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

I don't mind dlc as long as I feel I've already paid for a full game to begin with. I hate it when developers take stuff out of a game and then after a week charge you for it.

atopp399
atopp399

That's too bad. That means unfinished games will continue to be released.

newhighscore
newhighscore

@AgentRebecca - maybe thats a excuse for xbox users (a lame excuse at that) but ps3 owners have more than enough room on the blu-ray, and we still get the same bundles and packs for exorbitant amounts of money. its not fair. its like purchasing a meal at a restaurant, and then they say you have to purchase a knife and fork separately.

newhighscore
newhighscore

one of the proud "other" half. ive never purchased dlc, and pretty much refuse to. most of the time it is something that shouldve been included on the initial disc. and i refuse to let devs gouge me for another fee. this dlc and pre-order sh!t has got to stop. i gotta go to 8 different stores and put down money before the game comes out, if i want to get all the weapons, skins, maps, etc. thats bs! the games not even out and youre packaging dlc!? im looking at you batman ac. now i have to wait to get the goty edition, just to play the FULL game that i shouldve gotten off the rip for my hard earned money.

howie1926
howie1926

I buy DLC all the time. But only for games that I really enjoy

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

the only dlc i will consider getting is expansion packs for Skyrim (depending on the content).

Pzvz
Pzvz

I don't buy any DLC, but I'm pretty pissed off that not all of the content is available, even when on the disc.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

i have never bought DLC...a waste of money most of the time

AgentRebecca
AgentRebecca

@HonorOfGod You should know, most DLC is because there isnt enough room in the disc to finish it...thats how Elder Scrolls is, Gears of War, etc...

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

The smell off BS in the morning as I wake up and read this. How about you finish our games before you sell them to us crap game devs. All of you are crap.. ALL OF YOU!! if DLC will come out it should be a year or 2 ahead not a few months after or weeks that freaking means you intentionally did not put it on the disc to get more money. Take the cash you got from DLC and shove it!

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Of course, most of this only applies to AAA games. If people actually supported smaller developers, they wouldn't whine about DLC all the time, because they'd hardly be aware of it. But since people only buy Call of Duty and Batman games, there ya go. Head on over to www.gog.com or check out the Sawbuck Gamer at www.avclub.com - tons of great games there for free, or close to it. "$7 for 90 minutes of game is a total rip-off!" Except that people in some areas pay twice that much for a ticket to a 90-minute movie. A good 60-90 minute meal with the wife sets me back $100+ with wine. If the DLC is halfway decent, it's a bargain by the metrics we use for entertainment. You want state-of-the-art stuff, the second it hits the streets? Prepare to pay up. If not, be a big grown-up boy and wait for a price drop or the GOTY Edition with the DLC bundled with it. With time, everything becomes a bargain.

ebonyflame
ebonyflame

I am not against DLC if it really adds content to a game but if the information is alread on the disk and you are merely paying to unlock it then that is a problem.

lowkey254
lowkey254

When games are coming out incomplete what else are you going to do?

Triton
Triton

I believe this survey, and its only gonna get bigger. Just hate when DLC is announced for a brand new game.

franzito
franzito

Gamespot and its "market's charts"

ROMSES
ROMSES

People don't need DLC because it's too expensive, Mortal Kombat DLC was really expensive, I bought one by one every fighter and when I found that after all released characters they made a special prize for all it was like WTF!? So now I only download arcade games or demos with trailers, because it's easier to buy special edition or limited edition or GOTY after awhile to get all good DLC stuff and be free from all spending for nothing DLC. Of course there are times like with SC IV when some characters are on PS3 and some on XBOX360 and you want to have all on your console, but when they can't even give for free costume packs or weapons or smth else , man thats just lame. It's good that sometimes there are companies like valve that can make a good dlc and make it free. It will become even worse for PSN soon or they'd have to make cheaper prices for all the content.

shenron43
shenron43

Most DLC anymore is lame and/or too expensive to be worth getting.

smurfa1
smurfa1

Ryouji_kaji: Well said my friend.